Saturday, March 1, 2014

Babywearing Safety

I can not stress enough how important safe babywearing is. It is by far the most important thing we teach as educators.

Here are the guidelines Babywearing International teaches. Its a nice and simple acronym and easy to remember ABC.

Making sure your baby can breathe is the #1 thing we teach. Make sure your baby does not fall chin to chest. If a baby's chin falls to their chest it can cut off their airway causing them to suffocate. Another way to make sure the airway is not restricted is by making sure that there is not any type of fabric covering their face. This is especially important when you're wrapping your baby in a stretchy wrap or woven wrap.

Body Support
You want to make sure that your baby is properly supported. You don't want them slouching down in the carrier (which can cause problems with airway) as this can cause the weight to be wrongly distributed. You want your baby to be supported knee to knee. This should make their bottom look like an M position. This will cause the weight to be placed on their bottom and not their feet. Your baby should always be high enough that you can kiss the top of their head.

Babywearing isn't fun or helpful if it isn't comfortable for wearer and baby. Making sure that your carrier is properly put on and adjusted can help correct that. If you're having a difficult time using your carrier or learning a new carry use a spotter or check out your local group for help.

Wrapping Tips
  • Babies should be arms in until they get proper head control 
  • Never never NEVER using a stretchy for a back carry.
  • The tighter you are able to get the wrap while you are wrapping, the comfier its going to be for every one. Take your time wrapping and get a nice and tight wrap job. 
  • If baby is on your back you should be able to lean your head back and touch the top of their head. (this has exceptions) 
  • To get wrap more comfy on the shoulders you can always spread the rails and make them wider. 
  • Back wrapping can be very intimidating. It is best to master front carries before you attempt a back carry. The first time you try a back carry have a spotter to help you and do it away from hard surfaces. 
  • Use a mirror

SSC Tips
  • Babies should be arms in until they get proper head control
  • Make sure you do not have a counterfeit carrier.
  • Always check carrier for signs of wear and tear.
  • Master front carriers before you attempt back carries.

Ringsling Tips
  • Make sure your sling has weight tested rings. Rings from a craft store are not safe. is a great place for rings.
  • Always check sling for signs of wear and tear.
  •  Make sure you're not using a recalled sling. Bag style slings should never be used for risk of suffocation.
  • Master from carries before you attempt back carries.


You should only wear your baby while doing activities you would do when holding your baby.
  1. Don't cook while wearing
  2. Don't jump around, go jogging, ride horses, etc.
  3. Watch to make sure baby wont grab anything dangerous
  4. Never wearing your baby in the car
Narrow based carriers (Bjorn, Snugglie, Infantino, etc.) are NOT considered dangerous. They are weight and safety tested to the same standards as carriers like Ergo, Boba, Beco, etc. There is information being spread that these carriers cause Hip dysplasia. This is not true, there are no studies out there to confirm this. There are a few studies out there showing that it can cause issues for babies who are already susceptible but they do not cause it. Narrow based carriers are not dangerous and they were a stepping stone for many of us.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spreading the Love

I've been tossing around ideas for this post in my head for a while. Not entirely sure how to get my point across but wanting to try anyways because I feel like it is an important message.

There is a pretty large stigma around babywearing. People assume its just for parents who choose to go the attachment parenting route. Parents even think that babywearing could be just another part of the ''mommy wars''. A way to one up other parents. I'm not going to deny that there are people out there like that. There are always going to be people like that no matter the topic but a majority of wearing parents do not wear for the benefit of other people. They do it for the benefit of their children.

Its true that a majority of attachment parents babywear. Its also true that most attachment parents don't spank, breastfeed, co-sleep, and aren't typically yellers. That doesn't mean you need to follow every single one to consider yourself an attachment parent. I spank my son on occasion if he is doing something dangerous. I also tend to be a yeller. I'm still an attachment parent. Dr.Sears says that attachment parenting is not a one shoe fits all. Its listening to the cues of each specific child.

You can also twist this the other way. If you don't want to be labeled as an attachment parent you can still babywear! Babywearing doesn't make you an attachment parent. There are so so many other practical reasons to wear your child.

The point Im trying to get across is that babywearing can benefit everyone, men included!! My sons father and step father both love to wear my son. His grandmother has worn him, aunts, cousins, etc. It really does work for everyone. My father who was NOT an attachment parent has mentioned how cool he thinks babywearing is.

I always always always gift a ringsling to my friends and family at baby showers I attend. And every single time that parent ends up happy they received it. It might take them a while to really see the value in a good supportive carrier but they eventually learn to depend and rely on the sling. They're a real life saver!! If you see a mom, dad, or care provider struggling ,and you see they could benefit from babywearing, go up to them and spread the love!! Educate! Show them all the great resources out there. There is most likely a local group in their area and if not there are a ton of amazing online forums and groups. Some even have premade business cards that you can print out at home.

Babywearing has given me the confidence i needed as a mother. Who wouldn't want to spread the love?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Intro to Ringslings

A ringsling is a carrier that has a piece of fabric with 2 rings attached to one end. The fabric is threaded through the rings (like a belt) to make a pocket for the baby to sit in. The tail (extra fabric) can be adjusted to fit the wearer.

Ringsling Shoulders

There isn't really a 'type' of ringsling. They're all pretty much the same thing- a piece of fabric sewn to rings. HOWEVER there are different ways to sew that fabric to the rings. We call these different shoulders. They all fit into three basic categories but there can be sling differences between each category.


Gathered shoulders are all very basic. The fabric is just pulled through the rings and sewn flat. There are no pleats (folded fabric) involved. This makes for a nice wide adjustable shoulder.

Photo thanks to


A pleated shoulder has a bunch of pleats (folds) of fabric going around the sling. Before the fabric is sewn it is folded in different ways, the rings are pulled through, and then it is sewn to itself. This shoulder type is the most narrow and most parents tend to think it stays in place a little better than the other styles.

Photo thanks to Whitney Scott from BWI of Wichita


This shoulder is a mix between the two. It normally has a few pleated areas and a few gathered areas. Its a little more adjustable than pleated and a little more contained than gathered. 

Why They're So Great

Great Daddy Carriers

The AMAZING thing about ringslings is they're very easy to learn how to use and simple. In my experience dads don't tend to be wrappers. They want something they can throw on real quick and not have to fumble around. This also makes them great for grandparents, moms who don't like wrapping, and toddlers. Toddlers want up one second and down the next. Thats frustrating when you spent 5 minutes getting them up in a wrap just for them to want down 2 minutes later. With a ringslings taking them in and out isn't as big of a burden. 

Step-Daddy Babywearing
Daddy Babywearing


You an nurse in any carrier but sense ringslings are so easily adjustable they tend to be a go-to for nursing. If your baby wants to nurse you simply pull on the bottom ring -with other hand on baby- just enough to lower them to your breast. (Quick tip- tails make a great nursing cover if you wish to cover up.) When your'e finished nursing you just pull on the tail to tighten back up

Extra Uses of the Tail

The tail of a ringsling is just the leftover fabric you're not using while wearing the sling. There are other things you can do with it though besides letting it hang down your legs. One is using the extra tail to tuck into the top rail of the ringsling. This creates extra padding to support a newborns head. Another is to wrap the extra tail around the rings if they start digging into your chest. I also love using my tail as a nursing cover.

Wearing my premie second cousin and using the tail for extra head support
Tail wrapped around rings
Using tail as a nursing cover

Extra Photos

Ringslings are my FAVORITE so I can't help myself and am going to show off some more photos of them. Everyone should have a ringsling in their 'stash' of carriers. They work from newborn-toddler and are easy enough for all the care providers to learn to use. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Breaking In A Wrap

A local mama friend of mine recently asked me to chop and hem a brand new size 7 wrap for her. She was nice enough to offer to let me ''break in'' the wrap before I chopped it into two smaller sizes.. There are many many MANY reasons people prefer broken in wraps. This can sometimes be pretty difficult, but there are a lot of different ways it can be done. What you're doing is breaking down the actual fibers of the wrap. This makes the wrap softer, more moldable, and makes the wrap easier to wrap with.

  1. This is going to be the most obvious one of all. The more you wear your wrap the more broken in it will get. Like your favorite old pair of jeans. They're more comfortable because they've been worn so many times.
  2. Wash and dry your wrap per manufacturer instructions. This helps for a few different reasons. There could be a few things (like dye) still on your wrap that make the fibers more stiff than they would normally be. Just keep in mind things like Wool felts extremely easily, bamboo and silk don't like heat but hemp loves it. 
  3. Iron your wrap. Again, keep in mind different fibers react differently to heat. Steam ironing your wrap is extremely effective in helping a wrap get softer. I find this very tedious but its honestly not that bad. 
  4. Sleep with your wrap. I love to lay wraps than need broken in down on my sheets and I just sleep on top of them. 
  5. Sit on your wraps when you drive. Just bunch them up and pop down on top of it. 
  6. Use your wraps as blankets. This is a big thing in our house. Jackson is super attached to a handful of our wraps. He carries them around with him, sleeps with them, covers up with them as blankies all the time. Its not surprise these are the most broken in ones. 
  7. Braid your wrap. For you crocheting moms this is simply the chain stitch. ( Photos further down)
  8. Twist your wrap up on top of itself. Place one tail (end) of your wrap on the ground, step on it, and keep twisting an twisting until it starts folding into itself. the other end will start folding the other way so its easier if you do this with two people. One twists while the other untwists the other end as you go (Photos further down)
  9. Use Slingrings!! Thread up your wrap in the rings like you would a belt and simply drag the rings down the length of the wrap. This one also works best with two people. One person holds the end of wrap while the other drags the rings. 
  10. Make your wrap into a hammock. Take your wrap under a table and tie a knot over the table and let your children play in it =) You can also use a crib or weight bearing hooks in your ceiling for this.

     Braiding a Wrap

Twisting a Wrap